Everyone has different ideas on what it's okay to splurge on, so before you combine finances with your partner or spouse, or even split shared expenses, get on the same page about what's okay to spend more on, and what's frivolous.
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Talking about money isn't easy, but doing it before you and your partner pool your money will prevent problems later. Here are some areas you two may want to discuss specifically.
- Furniture and decor: What household items do you want to invest money in or not? A great couch? A nice TV?
- Appliances and kitchen gadgets: Which ones are worth spending more on? Which aren't?
- Groceries: What things are ok to drop a few more bucks on? What are you fine with buying the store brand of versus insisting on the name brand?
- Eating out: Do you prefer budget eats, or does it need to be a cloth napkin and tablecloth affair every time you dine out?
- Utilities and Services: Do you mind spending more to get a cable package, or do you not want TV at all? Do you splurge on a cell phone, or buy a budget model? What about keeping the heat or AC at a certain temperature?
Once you get an idea of where you and your partner agree, you'll be able to figure out which expenses should come out of your shared fund. If there's anything you disagree on, offer to pay for the difference yourself, or keep a discretionary account to pay for splurges that shouldn't come out of the household pot.
An Expert's 5 Money Talks You Must Have Before Moving In Together [The Financial Diet]